Female Thais top index for advancement opportunities 

Economy March 15, 2017 01:00

By   THE NATION

THAILAND is among the countries with the highest opportunity for women in the workforce, according to the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs.



Women in Thailand have the highest opportunity for advancement in the workforce with an index of 62.7, second only to the Philippines with a 2.8-point difference. 

The survey ranks 20 countries with the highest scores for female entrepreneurship. Thailand is among the top 10 and is the only upper-middle-income country to make it to the list. 

The index suggests that women in Thailand are considered to be efficiency-driven, along with women in such countries as China and Malaysia. 

This could be inferred by the fact that women in Thailand are responsible for a full-time job while holding the role of a mother and/or wife. 

Overall, developed markets top the index, led by New Zealand (74.4), Canada (72.4) and the United States (69.9). 

These countries feature conditions that support women’s business ownership, such as strong small and mid-sized business communities, a high quality of governance and ease of doing business.

High-income economies tend to perform better in terms of women’s advancement, women’s knowledge assets and financial assets.

“The prevalence of ambitious, resourceful women should be regarded as a prime business opportunity. 

“As society addresses existing cultural bias, we will do our part to help create those conditions that will strengthen and fuel the foundation for personal and economic growth,” said Martina Hund-Mejean, chief financial officer of MasterCard.

Ann Cairns, president for international markets at MasterCard, said: “By enhancing access to critical networks, women are better positioned to recognise their full potential and accelerate more inclusive growth. 

“It’s imperative that the public and private sectors work together to address cultural and organisational issues and further empower women leaders.” 

Female entrepreneurship develops at different rates and in different ways around the world.

Singapore (90.6), New Zealand (89.5) and South Africa (86.7) have the greatest gender equality when it comes to access to financial services and products. 

Less developed markets Vietnam (86.6, fourth), the Philippines (82.3, 10th) and Indonesia (82.0, 11th) have surprisingly high scores in this category, driven by a high tendency to borrow or save for business purposes and access to financial services and products.

The most conducive entrepreneurial conditions exist in high-income economies, include Singapore (83.3), New Zealand (82.6) and Hong Kong (82.2).